Just thought I would drop by with a quick update. Some of you may know, but for those of you who dont Peter (Iconic Games Coder) and I entered the FGL 48 hours competition over the weekend. We had actually been pretty excited since we first heard about it and hoped it would give us both a chance to work out of our comfort zones and on a heavy deadline. (we have never worked under this kind of pressure before) I personally was hoping for a new and interesting game idea and knew we would have to think outside of the box with FGL staff selecting the theme and also whatever restrictions they may have had.
Since the competition began at 7pm Peter worked on our editor and added the export capability while I finished up a scene for Marty. After working most of the day Peter informed me we got the times wrong and we were actually getting the theme at 6pm, not 7 (about an hour away when I found out). So I finished up work with Marty for the day and we both anxiously discussed details. We also took the time to ponder what the theme could be and possible routes we could take. Needless to say I was pretty much waiting to decide all that once we get the theme and restrictions.
I also spoke with the Iconic Games sound artist Daniele aka Sound Tricks prior and thankfully he was willing to participate. So that was a major sigh of relief knowing he was supplying some awesome sounds/music.
After much anticipation we finally got the theme/rules and were now ready to begin discussing what we could do. Below I have posted a section of the post.
- 48 hours to create a game
- Game must work on fgl.com
- Flash (AS2 or AS3), HTML5 or Unity is allowed.
- Libraries and languages must be declared with entry
- The theme needs to be central to the game
Three words, no more, no less. Any three words you want, as long as the first word begins with “F”, the second word begins with “G” and the third word begins with “L”.
We were still pretty excited and jumped right to work. There were lots of ways to use FGL and the possibilities felt endless. I think one thing that may have slowed us down was the fact that it was mouse controls only. Over the next few hours we shot out ideas back and forth. Just when we felt like we had something it quickly evaporated as we ran into time issues or a development problem with the game. Some ideas we had were; a fast paced super hero game where you had to save people, a fast paced super villain game where you had to destroy everything, launcher game ideas, shooters, collecting games and stacking games. There were definitely a lot more but that’s all I can think of at the moment. This process ended up being a lot harder then we had anticipated and easily wasted a lot of time.
I dont even remember how we stumbled across our final idea but we went into it not as motivated as we should have been. We really just needed to do something at this point and we thought it looked doable and knew no one else would do anything like it. We decided on Frantic Guardian Latamere as the name of the game. So Peter signed off because it was around 5AM in his timezone (must have been exhausted) and I got to work. My first target was to create the hero. Although it seemed simple I wasted waaay to much time here. I went through 4 complete designs and then decided to just start over. It had been almost 5 hours since Peter had logged off at this point. It was now about 4am and my motivation was almost gone and I was becoming delirious so I hit the hay knowing I would start over in the morning.
Day 1 Continued:
I awoke about 3 hours later because my 2 wonderful children had just woke up and wanted me to feed them and change there diapers. Not the best way to start the day with a deadline looming over your head.
After a few hours raced by I managed to get myself back to the computer and finally started work again. When I glanced at skype I saw that Peter messaged me about 15 minutes after I went to bed so I knew he had been hard at work for awhile and I needed to get some work done. This time I did something I wanted to do originally but didn’t because I was afraid of the time it would take. I did a zelda styled top down view of the hero and luckily it turned out better then I imagined. Only down side to this style is that I have to draw the hero 3 times and animate him 3 times because of the 3 different view points needed (front, side and back). This looked better but was also very time consuming. The original character was a front side view, but it just didn’t look right to me.
Once the character was designed I felt a lot better about the game and started working on the environment. To my dismay Peter did not happen to like the world art because it didn’t fit with the game. So after doing and redoing it I realized maybe we were not understanding each other. So after a long discussion we were now on the same page. At this point I had designed the character *not animated* him and had a bunch of level art we couldnt use.
End Of Day 1
I then began to animate the character which dragged on to about 7 am. Both Peter and Daniele had went to bed and awoken at this point and I was running on fumes, but I felt I needed to get something definite done to make some real progress. Once I managed to get the character animated I passed out next to my wife on the couch.
About 3 Hours Later:
I awoke again to two screaming children who were hungry and needed diapers changed. At this point I felt like I couldnt do it but I managed to push on because I knew Peter and Daniel were relying on me.
Once the kids were taken care of I jumped straight to work and edited some art my Wife (she is also an artist for Iconic Games, but she has been working on her own stuff lately)did so it would work with our game. I’ve got to say without her help I don’t know if we would have been able to finish. She really did a good job. After that it all kind of just blends together. The hours just flew by and I was trying to do everything at once so we would have a game to play. Things were getting done but it felt like I was going to slow and with the digital clock at the bottom right hand corner of my screen it only made me more nervous.
As time flew by I managed to finish all the art about 45 minutes before the time ended, but now I had to go through and prepare all the art for the game editor (no levels or anything were even designed). I managed to do that in about 10 minutes and then Peter told me I was missing a couple things so I had to finish that up as quickly as possible. Now at this point we only had about 30 minutes and we still had to design rooms, put content in them, upload the game to the site and post it to the FGL contest thread. So feeling rather drained Peter asked me to prepare uploading the game while he did the levels ( a job I typically do, but I was honestly happy I wasn’t doing them because I was completely scatter brained). It took me about 20 minutes to write a decent short/long description of the game. Just in time for Peter to upload the game to dropbox so I oould upload the game to FGL. I tried to quickly submit but for some reason it made me put a game image. Which managed to slow me down because Photoshop wouldn’t open.(so I was freaking out) It did manage to open though and I posted the game to the site and in the forum. With about 2 minutes to spare Peter uploaded an updated version of the game with sounds in.
I really just couldnt believe we made it. Also the feeling was a bit surreal to realize the first time to play the game was about 5 minutes before it was uploaded for the contest. I had only slept about 6 hours in those two days and was completely exhausted. I know Peter and Daniele both felt the same. That really showed me I can trust these guys and honestly there the only people im really happy to work with.
Daniele had done all the games music and sounds, not to mention he had also sacrificed sleep and worked faster and harder then I have ever seen him do before. He really impressed me. Something that was pretty funny was that after the dust had settled and Peter and I were celebrating Daniele messaged me with the menu music thinking we still had another hour. He was disappointed when I told him it was to late but without it he did a phenomenal job.
Courtney , my wife, had actually helped me with a lot of the game art and without her I am not positive I would have been able to finish the project. She really did an awesome job and I feel bad because both me and Peter were incredibly hard on her. We kept having her redo art and complaining so it doesn’t surprise me that she left me to do it myself a couple of times, but in the end she helped me finish the game up and did an awesome job.
With this project Peter was a miracle worker. That guy moved like a cheetah on the hunt and destroyed this game. Really the best coder I have EVER worked with.(with this project and all of our ones before) I am normally the one to take the lead but he was definitely the one leading us this time around. He had put together the frame work for our editor prior to this and coded the entire game in 48 hours not to mention put together the actual game and added all the sounds/a lot of art all in the last hour. I still have no clue how he did it.
I am just incredibly happy that we managed to finish the game. It was a ton of work and all of us went without sleep but we have the basis for an awesome RPG. And trust me we have plans to expand, polish and make this into a full fledged adventure RPG.
I went into this thinking we could come up with a good idea and turn it into an even better game once the competition was over. I am confident we have/will do that but I feel like this has revealed a lot about the people I work with and really changed my perspective on a lot of game related stuff. I know now that I can trust all of these guys and that they truly have my back. I have no doubt that together we will continue to make some awesome games and I look forward to that. Some people may think that this may have been a waste of 48 hours but I wouldn’t have spent it doing anything else. This 48 hours has changed the way I will work with my team and develop games in the future.
Final Contest Game Name: Fierce Guardian Latamere
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